Ever thought of a day when a Ghanaian government official, Member of Parliament or any high ranking official of state will abandon his luxurious official vehicle fully fueled and maintained by the state and ride a bicycle to work? For many Ghanaians, that will only be a mirage.
But on Tuesday morning, one MP broke the jinx and journeyed 17 kilometres from his home through some streets of Accra to Parliament House for his official duties.
His reason for abandoning comfortability for ‘hard labour’ was simple; ‘there is hardship’ in Ghana and that his decision to ride on bicycle to work was simply to express his displeasure over the hardship being faced by Ghanaians.
Many critics have argued the ‘one-day show’ by the MP for Kumbungu in the Northern Region, Ras Mubarak, was nothing other than a populist approach to score political points, but he has rejected such arguments. Well, said he intends to do the rare practice once a week or two.
He told our Parliamentary correspondent Evelyn Tengmaa that as an MP, he owes it a duty to speak on their behalf of his constituents.
“As you can see, I am riding to work. It has been a 17 kilometer journey from my house to parliament. This particular exercise is to bring home the levels of suffering that the good people of Ghana are going through under this administration,” he asserted.
“You hear people complaining privately, you hear people expressing frustration, exasperation about the rising cost of living in the country, and I sincerely believe that as representatives of the people, it is our duty to voice out the concerns of our constituents and the good people of Ghana.
He stated that Ghanaians have had enough, and government ought to heed to their calls to ease their burden.
“This is to make a statement,” he explained, adding, “this is to say that, enough, our people are suffering and the earlier the government listens to the good people of Ghana, the better for us.”
According to him, never in the history of Ghana have there been as much job losses as has been under the Nana Akufo-Addo government.
Beyond ridding to protest, the MP revealed the bicycle ride gave him an insight into what the ordinary Ghanaian goes through on the road.
He said he would advocate for bicycle lanes to be created on major roads to make it easier and safer for cyclists to use the road.
“It has also given me indications of what commuters go through; there is very little regard for pedestrians and people who ride bicycle. I will champion a situation where the Ministry of Roads and Highways will mark bicycle lanes.”